Separation Anxiety And Sleeping: How To Help A child 

Separation anxiety happen with young children. When babies spend time clinging on to parents, they eventually form an attachment. This attachment is noticed about 7 to 8 months in, when the baby starts being able to tell apart adults from each other. They will recognize you and when you’re leaving the room, and then throw a fit.

It's normal for children to develop separation anxiety and they just want you to be by their side when it's sleeping time. Learn more.Source:

Separation anxiety usually is a good thing in some aspects, as the baby is learning how to bond with their parents. If your baby doesn’t share any bond whatsoever, this may be a cause for alarm. However, it can be frustrating when your baby throws a fit because you have to leave the room. They don’t quite understand that you will be back and assume that because you left the room, you’re gone forever. Babies and toddlers don’t exactly run on logic, after all.

Separation Anxiety And Sleeping

Separation anxiety can damage a baby’s sleep even if they’re holding their favorite toy or any object permanence in the crib and have a white noise or night light on. When a baby isn’t near their parents while sleep training, they may wake up quite a bit and be upset and have a hard time staying calm. You may notice this in the 8-10 months stage of the baby, where normal sleep regressions can happen. A normal sleep regression is when the baby was once a heavy sleeper in the crib, but now they are waking up more frequently, leading to you being a little frustrated. You may feel like your baby is making a power play with you with their sleep problems. But you should also understand what your child feel. It is a normal part of developmental milestones. These developmental leaps, albeit very challenging must be considered part of positive experienced as parents. Try to make your baby feel safe. If they start to stop crying, this is a good sign. Note that babies can also sense your feelings and emotions as a mother.

Such  anxiety does come and go — it’s normal. After a while, your baby may realize that all is well and go back in the bed, but then they may have another case of sleep regressions at 18 months, and then two years. Sometimes, a toddler’s separation anxiety & sleep deprivation lasts for much longer, and may even last all during their toddlerhood. It can be frustrating when you have to put your baby or toddler to bed. All they do is be anxious, which is why they cry. Why can’t the toddler just sleep, realize that everything is going to be okay? As your nights get more sleepless , you see more sleep problems, you may not know what to do. It is a challenge. Luckily, we have a few solutions.


Tips On How To Beat Separation Anxiety

A child’s separation anxiety can be a good thing, as we said. It confirms that your baby has a deep attachment to you, but when you’re struggling to get sleep, you may wonder if there’s any way for you to defeat it. Well, we do have some good news. There are some ways to beat it.  We have a few of them right now. They won’t be foolproof, and it will still take time, but by doing these, you can prevent it from growing worse. Read on to learn to learn more how to improve your child’s sleep and achieve a better baby’s life. We understand that most babies experience this disorder, so help your child to stay calm and end the sleepless nights.

Make Sure the Sleep Routine Is Soothing

You want to have a good, consistent sleep routine that’s as soothing as possible. Dim the lights, have your child take a nice, hot bath, play peek-a-boo, and let them relax as best as possible. Read them a story, avoid any screens, and they should be able to fall asleep quite well. Practice the same sleep ritual as you do, and it may help your baby quite a bit.

As you put your baby to bed, remain calm and relaxed, even if your little one decides to throw an anxious fit. Your child may see you being upset as a sign that something is wrong. By remaining calm, it can rub off on your baby and allow them to fall asleep much easier. Raising a fuss can make your baby raise a fuss, and make the problem a whole lot worse.

When you leave, make sure that you don’t sneak away in a way that can upset your baby. Some parents will leave when the toddler looks drowsy, but a child cries more often and your toddler gets anxious about sleeping even more. Leaving suddenly can make your toddler feel like they don’t know what to do, and it’s something you don’t want to make new habits of. You need to establish a bedtime routine.

Instead, what you should do is tell your child goodnight and then leave with them seeing you do so. This can help you out in the long run. Make the goodnights friendly, reassuring, but firm as well, and it can help you with any problems you have. It is a good idea to practice saying goodbye while helping them cope feelings and fear of being left alone. Regardless, you must remind your child all the time that you love them and that you are not going to be back. Another way to assure or comfort them is to put them in their happy place – a crib or nursery room. Consistency is key. Once your baby adapts to the routine, putting them to sleep or making them nap will no longer be a problem. However, while it is good to practice your child seeing you leave them in their bedroom, you should also spend time with them. Teach them nap time but also play with them during your free time.


Comforting Your Child When They Are Upset

When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night and is crying, you may wonder what the battle plan is. Wait it out and hope the kid falls asleep? This sounds tempting, but it’s not the best move. Comfort your child for a good deal while and sing them a song or play peek-a-boo? Not that, either. Doing this can create a bad habit. You don’t want to stay for too long, but ignoring it isn’t a plan, either.

Instead, you should make sure you comfort your child, but do it very briefly and then leave. Again, you may feel the temptation to start sleeping next to them or invite the child in your child’s room, but that’s not the best deal or plan of action. Make it short, sweet, and to the point, and it can help your child out in the long run. Just make sure your child isn’t making a total habit out of it.

Anything Else?

Separation anxiety is definitely a frustrating struggle, but please don’t give in. Mommy, screaming at your baby several times or trying to give in every night and always being with them can create some bad habits. Eventually, this phase will pass, with the baby being able to start sleeping or taking naps without your help. It can be a challenge, but you can do it.



Separation anxiety at night is another battle against your sleep your baby can wage war on. Like any battle, you also need to remain calm. Do not lose your cool. It can feel hard to do so, but by following some basic rules, you can be able to do it.

Until then, make sure that you aren’t being too harsh or too giving in multiple times. This way, your baby can have a restful night. The next day, your baby will wake up feeling refreshed &  ready to go.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


How Do I Stop Babies From Being Clingy At Night At Eighteen Months?

You can really avoid this when your baby is still small. One way to avoid it is to help your baby sleep first before you go to work or go somewhere. It is also helpful if you provide them with reassurance.

How Can I Help My Baby Sleep?

If your baby has separation anxiety at night, you need to be patient. Reassure your baby that everything will be okay and establish a bed time routine.

What Does This Disorder At Bedtime Look Like For Other Adults?

Sleep or separation anxiety among kids can be stressful for adults. For moms, they may not enjoy naptime themselves and may need to tend the baby all the time. That is why if your baby has separation anxiety, you need to practice them to develop independence.

How Long Does Nighttime Separation Anxiety Last For Many Parents?

What Are The Three Stages Of Separation Anxiety?

What Age Does It Peak?

Do Babies Outgrow Fear Of Being Left Alone In Their Nursery Room?

How Do You Sleep Train A Clingy Baby?

How Do You Self Soothe Babies During Nap Time?

What Makes Fear Of Being Left Alone Worse?

Why Is Fear In Babies To Be Left In The Room Is Worse At Night?

What Are The Three Stages Of Separation Anxiety?

What Causes This Disorder Among Kids?

Why Do Babies Feel Anxious At Night?

Is It Normal For Kids To Be Anxious And Cry When Parents Leave The Nursery Room For Bedtime?


Other Resources

Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by Mary Cimeni

DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a

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